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Gastric Sleeve Patients
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Everything posted by lauraellen80

  1. I'm about 9 months post op and almost 20 pounds below goal. I should be happy with myself and feel beautiful, no? No. So, I was never the fat girl who got told, "But you have such a pretty face!" I chalked it up to the fact that my face is the first place I gain weight, and at my heaviest I looked really bloated in my face. As I lost weight, I guess I was thinking that I might end up being pretty. But if anything, all my facial flaws that were once covered in a layer of fat are now exposed. I feel like now I'm a "butter face"... or worse, a deflated former fat girl with a jiggly stomach, droopy butt, AND an ugly face. I look at pictures of myself and insteading of finding pride in how I look now, I just find new things to pick apart. I've started looking up facial plastic surgery procedures (not that I'd ever have the money to do it) to see if I can be "fixed"--my eyes are really asymmetrical (one is smaller and more closed-looking than the other), the distance between my nose and upper lip is too great and makes me look monkey-like, my lower face is too large gives me this uneven lopsided look, my nose is big and bumpy... and on and on. Has anyone else felt like this? And before anyone suggests it--yes, I'm already in therapy! :/
  2. I'm finally getting around to selling a few items that I felt that I should sell instead of donate because they were expensive, and I barely or never wore them. I have the following listed on eBay right now: Size 1X SPANX "Slim Cognito" thigh-length body shaper (http://www.ebay.com/itm/SPANX-Slim-Cognito-Bodysuit-Mid-Thigh-Body-Shaper-in-Beige-Nude-Plus-Size-1X-/272318545469?hash=item3f67733e3d:g:B-YAAOSwTZ1XlQt-) Size 14 purple silk-wool Albert Nipon skirt suit (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Albert-Nipon-Plum-Purple-Silk-Wool-Skirt-Suit-Size-14-NWT-/272318479876?hash=item3f67723e04:g:-w8AAOSwbsBXlPqK) Size 14/16 (but runs large) Igigi Marisol lace dress (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Igigi-Marisol-Plus-Size-Lace-Semi-Formal-Dress-Size-14-16-/272318507952?hash=item3f6772abb0:g:7u4AAOSwbsBXlQHT) And the size 7.5WW shoes I bought to go with the dress (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Annie-Cameron-Silver-Mesh-Lace-Heels-Size-7-5-E-WW-Extra-Wide-2-5-Heel-/272318532913?hash=item3f67730d31:g:qEEAAOSwIgNXlQgs)
  3. Oh, I guess I didn't really mention what kinds and amounts of exercise I'm doing--usually I do 1-2 yoga/Pilates classes per week, 1-2 Zumba classes per week, and walk my dogs for about 30 min. most days. I also will count working in the garden, heavy-duty cleaning, and other activity that's out of my "norm" towards my exercise. I have a Garmin fitness tracker that counts my steps, and it syncs with MyFitnessPal to estimate my calories burned. So, I'm not doing intense working out or training that burns an insane number of calories.
  4. lauraellen80

    My doc never mentioned this..

    I'm over 10 months out, and I have only thrown up on three occasions since surgery. Once was the day I came home from the hospital and stupidly took my whole antidepressant for the first time in a few days on an empty stomach (I started cutting it in half and taking it in two doses spaced out, with food, and was fine). Once was a couple months later and was just a weird combination of factors and seems to have been just one of those random things. And then a couple months ago I had a nasty stomach flu, which is completely unrelated to my surgery. As far as acid reflux, I take prescription Pepcid twice a day as a preventive measure and have no problems. In fact, I haven't touched a Tums since surgery, where before I was popping them all the time. Everyone is different, some people have these issues, but for me the benefits outweighed the possibility of the side effects. Don't panic and cancel surgery.
  5. I have been theoretically in maintenance since before Christmas, but have lost another 20 lbs since then. My weight right now is lower than when I was a ballet dancer in high school (still trying to wrap my mind around that one). And I'm averaging about 1400 net calories per day, so I'm actually eating somewhere in the range of 1500-1800 calories per day depending on how much I burn with exercise. I'm still trying to find the sweet spot to maintain, as I am still losing in little dribs and drabs (.25 lb here, .5 lb there). If I were limited to 1200 calories worth of food per day, I can't imagine where I'd be! Also, I average about 70-80 grams of fat per day... I was also told to keep to 30 grams or less, but I don't know how it's possible. That was also based on a 1000 calorie-per-day plan, which obviously is not where I'm at now. I'm already getting well over 100 grams of Protein per day, ditto carbs, so my macros would have to change drastically to make that happen. I have MyFitnessPal set for 1400 cals, with 35% protein (122 g), 35% fat (55 g), and 30% carbs (104 g). Those amounts go up when I eat more total calories to compensate for activity. Obviously, I don't do real low-carb as it is (though I don't really eat bread, Pasta, rice, Cereal anymore), and I don't want to damage my kidneys with even more protein, so unless my NUT gives me hell at my next appt, I am going to keep fats where they are.
  6. Last New Years, I flew out from Philly to Indianapolis to visit my parents. My dad's younger sister had died two months prior due to complications of diabetes. I was at my heaviest, was depressed, and having back and other health problems. My mom brought up the idea of WLS to me while I was there, and I reacted poorly and defensively. My flight back to Philly was on a slightly smaller plane than the one I flew in on, and I couldn't lower my tray table because of my stomach, and I spent the flight home trying to keep my fat from spilling over into my neighbor's seat and thinking about what my mom had said. I started researching WLS the moment I got home.
  7. lauraellen80


    I feel like it's about the same, except that if I miss a dose I feel it much more quickly than before--and not just brain zaps, but I start to get anxiety/mood swings. I take the regular version, though, not the extended release.
  8. lauraellen80

    Ideas to keep wedding ring on

    I'm currently wearing my wedding band on my middle finger (not sure what message that sends, haha). I haven't been able to wear my engagement ring for months. Right now I'm waiting for hot weather to have them sized, because my fingers always swell in the summer, and I don't want them to be sized too small.
  9. What the others said-- get rid of them, except for one or two things to keep as the "before"--like I did to compare my size 20W shorts with my new size 2 shorts. I donated my stuff in one of the bins as the local elementary school where the proceeds go back to the school. Most of my clothes were cheap things from Target, so they were not worth selling.
  10. lauraellen80

    I thought they were trolls

    Yikes. I have to say, with the exception of the beans and salsa, the rest of that would make me barf even 9.5 months out... but raw eggs, clam chowder, and potted meat would have made me queasy before surgery, too.
  11. True. Don't forget clothing sizes--they are probably the most meaningless because they are so arbitrary, especially for women (see my post above!). I want to get my body fat measured to see where I'm at in that regard--I know I could stand to build some more muscle at this point.
  12. I don't know how long ago it was for you that you were at 165, but don't be surprised if you get there and find that you can wear smaller than a 12! I was about 120-125 in high school (mid- to late-1990s), but I never wore below a 7/8. At the same weight in 2016 clothes, I wear a 2 or a 4. Vanity sizing is insane! I often wonder how the ~really~ skinny girls find clothes... like, are there secret stores for uber-thin people that carry things in triple- and quadruple-zeros? I've found that my weight is distributed differently now that it was when I was around my current weight as a teenager, 20 years ago (shocking, I know). My upper body seems a lot bonier than it did then--my collarbones and sternum stick out more than I remember.
  13. Same here. I get a sharp pain beneath my sternum. It only lasts for a few minutes, but it's not very pleasant. My insides make crazy whale sounds when I eat a meal that is higher in starches and fat than normal--like Thanksgiving dinner. I had a lot of issues with orthostatic hypotension (getting dizzy/feeling like I might black out when I stand up, especially from a crouched or bent over position) for a few months. My NUT suggested upping my sodium intake a bit, and drinking something with electrolytes when I exercise. That helped, and as my weight loss has slowed down, and I'm taking in more calories, it doesn't happen nearly as often.
  14. lauraellen80

    I thought they were trolls

    Yes, I'm intrigued to hear what he was eating, also...
  15. My surgeon didn't give me a goal, he just said that the average loss would be about 60-70% of my excess weight. That would have put me still in the "obese" range, so I didn't pay a lot of attention to that. I initially set my personal goal at 145, which was still in the "overweight" category for my height, because it was the lowest weight I could realistically see myself at. But as the weight was coming off, I realized that I could revise my goal downward, so I picked 134.8 because it was just in the "normal" category and would put me right at 100 lbs lost. Then I hit that and decided that it'd be nice to have some "wiggle room" and went for 125-130. I'm now working on maintenance but am still losing a little and am at 114.4 at the moment. Even when I was a ballet dancer, I couldn't maintain under 120, so this is really bizarre for me. Since puberty, there has never been a time in my life where I wasn't trying (or hoping) to lose weight. So, to some extent, your body will dictate where you'll end up. I think there are a lot of factors at play--how long you were overweight/obese, your age, your metabolism, genetics, etc.
  16. lauraellen80


    How long ago was your surgery? It sounds like maybe you're not very far out. Most people feel pretty crappy for the first couple weeks (or more), but it does get better, I promise! The first time I tried to take my Effexor post-op, it made me puke because it should be taken with food, and I didn't have enough in my sleeve to make it tolerable. I also found that I metabolized it differently and would get to feeling really weird (Effexor users call it "brain zaps") when it got too long in between doses. So what I did (with my psychiatrist's OK) was to cut my pills in half and take one in the morning and one in the evening. Later I was able to get a smaller dosage pill so that I can take one in the AM and one in the PM. My surgeon said that it was OK to take them right after I eat with a little sip of Water, so there is something in my stomach when I take it. I don't know what medication you were taking and if it can be cut, but that may be something to bring up to your doc if you were otherwise happy with the meds.
  17. lauraellen80


    Yup, I've struggled with depression since I was a teenager and have a strong family history of it on my dad's side. I've tried a variety of antidepressants and have settled into a decent place with a low dose of Effexor (BTW, if you take meds, you may have to adjust them post-op. I have to split my dosage and take it twice a day instead of once after being sleeved, or it makes me nauseated.). I had been in therapy off and on over the years, but when I had my psych eval before surgery, they recommended that I find a therapist that I could work with through the whole process. So I started seeing someone a few months pre-op, and I am still doing biweekly sessions at 9.5 months out from surgery. While I am much happier since surgery in a lot of ways, there is a lot of emotional baggage that comes along with massive weight loss. I knew from the start that having surgery and losing the weight wasn't going to magically "cure" my depression, but it's one step in getting to a happier place. Best of luck!
  18. lauraellen80

    What are your other addictions/ obsessions?

    -Quest bars, a dangerous obsession -tracking my food, Water, steps, etc with MyFitnessPal and my Garmin Vivosmart -collecting WWII British Army Auxiliary Territorial Service items (yes, very specific... and expensive) -criticizing myself... I'm working on getting rid of this obsession
  19. Like you, I could not even begin to imagine losing 100 pounds. I originally set my goal weight at 145 because I simply could not conceptualize ever weighing less than that again. I still have days where I find it hard to wrap my mind around that fact that I've lost so much weight. I'm 9 months post-op, and I hit my goal of 135 around Christmas, so it's still really new to me. I started at about 235 and am at 116 now... I went from a size 20W to a size 2... I've lost over half my body weight!!! Physically, I feel SO MUCH BETTER. My feet don't hurt, my back pain has lessened, I'm not popping Tums constantly, my sugar is normal, etc. I'll be honest, though--I'm not yet used to seeing myself as a thin person rather than a fat one. And as I've talked about in another thread, I'm still struggling with feeling ugly, not good enough, etc. I recommend finding a therapist that can help you through the mental and emotional aspects of this process, because it can be a roller coaster ride.
  20. lauraellen80

    More critical of facial features after WLS?

    I've had therapists work with me on affirmations, and I struggle with it. I'm too cynical... the best thing I've been able to manage is "I'm not a total a-hole, I guess."
  21. lauraellen80

    More critical of facial features after WLS?

    No worries, @@BigViffer! I actually wasn't sure where to put the topic, but because this sort of issue seems to affect women more so than men, this is where I ended up posting it.
  22. lauraellen80

    More critical of facial features after WLS?

    Thanks for the kind words and the insightful thoughts, everyone. I've posted before about how I was a ballet dancer growing up, which skewed my perception in weird ways. I have definitely internalized a lot of negative ideas about my appearance, femininity, etc. over the years. And now that I'm putting more time and effort into clothes and make-up, I'm spending a lot more time in front of the mirror these days. Like I said in an earlier reply, I have a lot of fodder for my next therapy session! Oh, I normally would have worn more fun shoes (I have some really cute red wedges that'd look great with this dress) and in warmer weather gone sans tights, but this was actually take when I was dressed to go to the funeral of an acquaintance (I had my husband take the pic to show my mom the dress, which I'd just gotten), so I thought red shoes might be inappropriate! Ah, yes... when I think about it, the last time I was at this weight was 20 years ago when I was 15 years old. It really isn't fair to myself to compare to how I looked as a dewy teenager (who even then thought she was fat and ugly, honestly).
  23. lauraellen80

    More critical of facial features after WLS?

    Oh, don't get me started on how I look when I smile... my eyes get all crinkled up and I look all wrinkled and squinty...
  24. lauraellen80

    More critical of facial features after WLS?

    I have had relationships end, fail to start, or become soured because of my looks, though. From a guy in college who liked me enough to make out with me in my dorm but bluntly told me that I wasn't pretty enough and didn't have big enough boobs and a small enough waist to be "girlfriend material" for him, to a serious relationship that ended because he was "repulsed" by me after I'd gained 15-20 pounds and felt like I'd somehow tricked him into thinking I had myself more together than I really did... ugh. I now have a husband who loves me no matter what and finds me attractive, so I should just let those old experiences go. Well, I've got something to talk about next week in therapy.

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